In Loving Memory of Mackie - July 17, 2001 - December 22, 2016
I'd rather be happy than right...Mackenzie Crissman
For us, Mackie's story began on June 16, 2002. While I have never officially claimed a precognitive ability, I did wake up that morning with a gut feeling. It was Father's Day 2002. I told Lowell there was a Pug baby out there needing us and we would call him Mackenzie. We already had three beautiful Pugs and had not planned on a fourth just yet. But Lowell conceded the point and I picked up the newspaper (I had a strong feeling the answer would come from the Kansas City Star) and the ad practically jumped off the page - Must relinquish male pug. There was a phone number and we called it. The woman said she had a Pug named Max who was 11 months old and she could no longer care for him. We arranged to meet that afternoon.
Suffice to say - Mackie (we changed his name that day and it was an easy transition) could have had every advantage and a wonderful life, but he did not. He had been poorly and barely cared for and the moment she opened his kennel door, he leaped into my arms and we knew. Mackie was ours and divine intervention brought this little boy to us.
As soon as we got Mackie home, he and I headed off to the bathroom so I could bathe him, remove a myriad of ticks, and de-flea him. And then he met his brothers. We will never forget how he jumped right in and the four of them ran and played as though they had always been together. Mackie was especially close to Ian (also born in 2001) and they became instant brothers and compadres.
And while we have loved and cherished all of our boys, we always felt there was something indefinable and extraordinary about this little boy. Lowell and I called him the Happiest Pug on the Planet. Mackie embraced life and you would never know he had such a terrible start. I would whisper I love you in his ear and his little bobble tail would go into overdrive. Mackie never minded baths - I would sing Mack the Knife or the Sloop John B while I bathed him and his tail would just wag every which way. When it was time to cut his nails, he would go limp in my arms and allow me to trim away. Before Zander came along, Mackie was by far our fastest and most agile Pug. Like his brothers, Mackie loved rice and would fall in line with the others when we had Chinese take-out on Monday nights. Since the late 90s, we've always ordered extra rice for the boys!
From the moment Mackie came home with us, he has always sat on my lap in the evenings while we watched TV or read. Sometimes, I would hold him like a baby and rub his tummy and he would fall asleep in my arms. If I spoke to him, he would respond with the tiniest tail wag, then fall back asleep snoring softly. He also loved stories and his favorite was the Cat People - complete with sound effects.
Mackie was a true boy of Spring and enjoyed romping with his brothers when the weather turned warm. And he also loved our Pug Parliaments and was the quintessential host, greeting and running with all his Pug friends.
For most of his life, Mackie was a healthy boy, but was diagnosed with kidney disease earlier this year. We were able to manage his condition for a while (with many heartfelt thanks to Mission Road Animal Clinic), but a stroke and several seizures compromised his system. Mackie is now at the bridge (and I can almost hear him saying Look Ma, we got the band back together!) running and romping with Dexter, Trevor, and Ian. Godspeed, little one. We won't have to look for you in all those empty rooms because you are in our hearts.